By Ava Gilchrist

From Siren Eyes to Dripping Wet Locks, Here’s Your Definitive Guide to Achieving Mermaidcore Makeup

All the better to pair your netted sequin dresses with.
Emily Ratajkowski does the Mermaidcore aesthetic in Versace SS23. Image via

Like a siren calling to a sailor, the recent infatuation with all things under the sea has propelled the Mermaidcore aesthetic to become the trend du jour. Netted crochet knits,metallic sequin embellishments that rival the iridescent sea and maritime-adjacent motifs have saturated every facet of the cultural zeitgeist, from runways to red carpets.

Since Versace’s overt Atlantis chic Spring/Summer 2021 collection—which referenced the luxuriate’s deep blue inspired SS92—the Mermaidcore aesthetic is an undercurrent that’s underpinned the recent “core” fixtures

Now, the trend has finally bubbled up from under the surface and claimed its spot in the mainstream. From Miu Miu’s SS23 opaque and embellished separates to the more overtly aquatic display at Blumarine SS23 (see: scalloped hems and slinky liquid fabrications), the dernier cri is drenched with marine motifs.

Of course, with the recent live-action remake of Disney’s 1989 The Little Mermaid—which of course was a film adaption of Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting 1837 fairytale—it’s easy to see that the aesthetic has fed into our culture of nostalgia. On TikTok alone, the hashtag #mermaidcore has garnered over 221 million views, with social media users dissecting the best way to pair mother-of-pearl accessories with ruffled trimmed dresses.

If you’re not ready to proverbially take the plunge into the waters of Mermaidcore—and are still finding your sea legs in regard to sartorially emulating the aesthetic—-the trend is also highly accessible via your makeup routines. From dewy glazed skin to siren eyes and dripping wet locks, keep scrolling below for your definitive guide to achieving Mermaidcore makeup.

Siren Eyes
Lily-Rose Depp via

An omnipresent motif across all mermaid lore is the mythological creature’s ability to lure sailors with their siren songs, positioning mermaids as sultry, enticing (albeit dangerous) and bewitching.

In contemporary beauty terminology, siren eyes are the modern-day vampish equivalent, with a smudged smokey eye the crux of this femme fatal makeup look à la a seductive daughter of Neptune. Inspired by the midnight hour in which mermaids appear on the surface of the water, the elongated technique of siren eye embraces the sleazier and more gothic side of the nymphet-esque trend.

Popularised by the likes of Alexa Demie and Lily-Rose Depp, this eye makeup style involves buffing out winged eyeliner past your crease and into the corners of your eye to achieve a more dimensional and extended appearance.

Glistening Skin
Lourdes Leon via

Similar to the ‘dolphin skin’ or ‘glazed doughnut’ skinimalism trends that are rooted in ultra-hydrated complexions, a dewy or glistening base is the easiest way to emulate the Mermaidcore aesthetic.

Uber-glossy and high-shine, the Mermaidcore trend calls for a sea-kissed appearance, with your skin fresh and wet from within as if you’ve just emerged from the fathoms below like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

The staples for this trend include a rich and nourishing moisturiser, hydrating serums, a healthy dollop of a bronzed or tinted oil and the pièce de résistance: a creamy luminescent highlighter for you to swatch over the high points of your face. All waterproof, of course.

Soaked Sea Salt Hair
Zendaya wet hair, mermaidcore beauty
VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Zendaya attends the red carpet of the movie “Dune” during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 03, 2021 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

Throughout history, mermaids have been revered for their long, cascading locks, which have been depicted to wade through the saltwater in tumbling waves.

To emulate this sea-soaked style, opt for long textured trestles marked by a soft and shiny curl. The finished result should be bouncy, slightly messy and accented by a wet sheen. 

Additional points are awarded to those who go the extra mile and accent their hairstyle with marine details like shells, pearls, and maritime accessories.

Aquamarine Hues
mermaidcore beauty
Halle Bailey via

Aside from emulating a mermaid through your beauty look, keeping within the colour palette of the deep blue is a refined version of channelling the Mermaidcore aesthetic as a whole.

Keeping within the under-the-sea aesthetic, reaching for marine hues is an assured way to emulate your inner little mermaid. The main tones within your beauty looks should be seafoam green, pearlescent silver, pastel corals and midnight charcoals and sky blues.

Simply accent your eyelids with a wash of these colours to fully indulge in this aquamarine vision.

This story first appeared on GRAZIA International.